All Hail: Ignorance isn’t always bliss

Has anyone heard of the show that airs on FX called “Black.White?” This show has an original concept: two families trade races. Yes, the black family wears makeup to appear white, and the white family wears make-up to appear black.

In one episode, the white father (Bruno) composed and performed a rap song to express his opinion about rap videos. If you wish to view it, you may find it at the Web site,

After watching this video, I realized Bruno is very ignorant for a number of reasons. One reason is that not all rap videos and songs have this negative connotation Bruno talks about in this song (perfect example: “I Can” by Nas on his album God’s Son. This song encourages children to excel in life.)

Because of this, I realized that if this idiot can blatantly show his ignorance on national television, then ignorance must be everywhere. Unfortunately, I experienced two cases of ignorance on our campus.

Case 1: March 30, between 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Two friends and I (we are all black) are eating lunch in the library quad. I see one student (who appeared to be black) saying to another group of students (who appeared to be black): “Hey, look, it’s NI****S!!!”

After hearing that statement, our jaws dropped and then we looked around to see if anyone had witnessed this event. We saw a white student there, who had the same reaction as us. As a result, my friends and I were compelled to inform this fellow that “all black people do not use derogatory terms to identify each other.”

Case 2: April 3, between 6:45 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Two white students approached me in the lobby of 10 Coventry St. They informed me that they will live there this fall and asked if I liked living here, and what type of room I had. I told them I enjoyed living there, especially having my own single apartment in the building.

Unfortunately, one of the students said, “Oh, so Northeastern allows the public to live here?” At this point, I was very angry. I could not believe that someone was this ignorant. The mere fact that the young lady assumed I was not a student of Northeastern University was disturbing.

There is no reason as to why she should have concluded I don’t attend the university. Perhaps she was making this ignorant assumption on the basis of my skin color.

This leads me to my next point about the lack of understanding in the Northeastern community about diversity and about those who live in the surrounding communities. It is no secret that the surrounding communities of our campus, like Roxbury, are predominately populated with minorities. Many students think of Columbus Avenue and Tremont Street as the “hood,” but this is not the case.

Yes, there are subsidized houses in that area, but whites as well as blacks live in subsidized housing. And it is time for so-called educated students to stop making ignorant assumptions on the basis of skin color.

Fortunately, I kept my cool and stated that public Boston community residents do not live in Coventry and that I am a Northeastern University student.

Everyone is capable of being ignorant. However, be mindful of your words and who is around you when you decide to act out of character.

Remember, people listen and may not act in that moment. But they may respond to it by shouting these individuals out in this column.

– LaTanya Lemon is a middler physical therapy major.

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